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Mentor Protege

Mentor Protege Program
 

The Mentor-Protégé Program applies to many of the projects that the Department of Utilities and Engineering oversees. Program InformationProgram Documents and Contact Information for the program are below.
 

Program Information

Important Documents

Contact Us

 

 

 

Program Information
Program Information

Detailed program information can be found in the Mentor-Protégé Program Guidelines PDF document. 

 

 

What is its purpose?

This program is designed to develop viable and independent Minorities-Owned, Women-Owned and Small Business Enterprises firms (M/W/SBE) that are capable of participating in the industry. The assistance provided by the Department of Utilities & Engineering, Compliance Division, and the Mentors is to encourage and offer advice and opportunities to perform on projects so that the M/W/SBE firms can gain the experience necessary to grow their businesses. The success of the program is not guaranteed, but it is hoped that an opportunity will be provided for success. 

 

 

On what types of projects will the City give preference to Mentor-Protégé teams?

The Mentor-Protégé Program applies for projects the Department of Utilities and Engineering designates as Mentor-Protégé Program (MPP) applicable. Engineering Bid, RFP and RFQ notices will indicate if a project is MPP applicable. Approved Mentor Protégé Teams are eligible and encouraged to bid on these projects. 

 

 

How do I find a Mentor or Protégé?

Your business will first need to apply to be either a Mentor or Protégé. The relationship between the Mentor and Protégé is voluntary. The Compliance Division in the Department of Utilities & Engineering maintains a listing of approved Protégé and Mentor Companies, which is available upon request. Approved Mentors and/or Protégés are encouraged to form MPP Teams in order to be permitted to bid on MPP designated projects. 

 

 

What are the Mentor Qualification Requirements?

  • Have a good safety record as measured by OSHA (See: www.osha.gov) criteria
     
  • Be bonded and licensed
     
  • Be financially stable
     
  • Have the necessary skills and resources to guide and train the Protégé
     
  • Be an established corporation and/or contractor (general or mechanical), engineer, architect, or construction manager generating more than $3.5 million in annual revenue for professional services or $5 million in annual revenue for construction services
     
  • Have all necessary and current state and local licenses including a current City business license
     
  • Have at least five (5) years experience in water/sewer and storm drainage construction or other pertinent fields of discipline
     
  • Demonstrate a willingness to provide developmental assistance that will enhance the ability of the Protégé to perform in a new area of operation
     
  • Demonstrate experience with previous minority, women and/or small business enterprise programs
     
  • Have current financial statements 

 

 

What are the Protégé Qualification Requirements?

  • Have a good safety record as measured by OSHA (See: www.osha.gov) criteria
     
  • Designate a senior level officer from the company authorized to enter the Mentor-Protégé Agreement PDF document
     
  • Have current financial statements
     
  • Have at least one year's cumulative experience on similar projects
     
  • Have less than $3.5 million in gross revenue in water and sewer projects (average over 3 years) for professional services and less than $5 million in gross revenue in water and sewer projects (average over 3 years) for construction services
     
  • Possess a current Contractor's (general or mechanical), Engineer's, or Architect's license to perform in South Carolina, or be qualified as a Construction Manager pursuant to Title 40, Chapter 11 of the Code of Laws of South Carolina
     
  • Have all necessary and current state and local licenses including a current City business license
     
  • Have a place of business located in the City of Columbia or the South Carolina Counties of Richland, Kershaw, Lexington, Saluda, Newberry, Fairfield, or Calhoun 

 

 

How does my business apply for the program?

  1. Before filling out any forms, businesses should make sure they meet the Mentor or Protégé Qualification Requirements. These will be confirmed by MPP Compliance Staff during the application process.
     
  2. Businesses that want to be Mentors should fill out the Mentor Application for Construction Services PDF document or Professional Services PDF document. Businesses that want to be Protégés should fill out the Protégé Application for Construction Services PDF document or Professional Services PDF document and the Protégé Assessment  for Construction Services PDF document or Professional Services PDF document. These applications should be submitted to the Department of Utilities and Engineering, Compliance Division, 1136 Washington Street, Suite 507, Columbia, SC 29201.
     
  3. The relationship between the Mentor and Protégé is voluntary. The foundation of this relationship is trust. The Department of Utilities & Engineering, Compliance Division, maintains a listing of approved Protégé and Mentor Companies, which is available upon request. Approved Mentors and/or Protégés are encouraged to form Teams in order to be permitted to bid on MPP designated projects.
     
  4. Mentoring firms and Protégé firms that plan to work together will fill out and submit a Mentor-Protégé Agreement PDF document.
     
  5. The Mentor-Protégé team should work together to develop a Business Plan for Construction Services PDF document or Professional Services PDF document that addresses the strategic and tactical steps designed to help the Protégé achieve its objectives. The plan may reflect any additional items that the Mentor or Protégé feels may be necessary to properly support the Protégé in accordance with the Mentor-Protégé Agreement PDF document.
     
  6. MPP Compliance Staff will determine whether to authorize the Mentor-Protégé Agreement PDF document based on a review of the proposed Business Plan and the individual strengths and weaknesses of the two parties. Staff may require additional oversight, including use of a review committee. 

 

 

What happens once a Mentor-Protégé team is formed?

Mentor-Protégé teams should hold developmental meetings at least on a quarterly basis. The Protégé should discuss with the Mentor the efforts to implement the Business Plan for Construction Services PDF document or Professional Services PDF document and the subsequent results. The specific items of the Business Plan should be reviewed to develop a course of action for any necessary corrections. Additionally, the Protégé should discuss the firm's current needs and concerns.
 

The Protégé will need to send Quarterly Report PDF document to MPP Compliance Staff.
 

Upon successful completion of the program, the Mentor and Protégé will receive a Certificate of Completion. 

 

 

What are the Mentor's responsibilities?

  • Routinely communicate with the Protégé to review the Protégé's growth, improvements in staff knowledge and expertise, financial management and profitability, and technical assistance needs, and to discuss issues and situations encountered by the Protégé
     
  • Communicate progress issues or problems encountered to the Department of Utilities & Engineering, Compliance Division, as soon as possible after the concerns are identified
     
  • Carefully select staff to assign to the program
     
  • Introduce Protégé to various business resources, including banking, bonding, suppliers, management, and business industries
     
  • Quarterly progress reports reflecting the actions taken by the Mentor-Protégé team and its progress towards measurable objectives and criteria established in the Mentor-Protégé Agreement PDF document and Business Plan for Construction Services PDF document or Professional Services PDF document 

 

 

What are the Protégé's responsibilities?

  • Pledge the time, personnel, and resources required for a successful relationship
     
  • Make substantial progress in implementing the business decisions developed during the course of the relationship
     
  • Provide complete up-to-date information on the business, including development plans, work in progress, and status of bids
     
  • Routinely communicate with the Mentor to discuss issues and situations encountered
     
  • The Protégé shall not relinquish managerial or administrative control to the Mentor
     
  • Communicate progress issues or problems encountered to the Department of Utilities & Engineering, Compliance Division, as soon as possible after the concerns are identified
     
  • Quarterly progress reports reflecting the actions taken by the Mentor-Protégé team and its progress towards measurable objectives and criteria established in the Mentor-Protégé Agreement PDF document and Business Plan for Construction Services PDF document or Professional Services PDF document 

 

 

What are the Mentor-Protégé's team responsibilities?

  • Develop a Mentor-Protégé Agreement PDF document
     
  • Develop a Business Plan for Construction Services PDF document or Professional Services PDF document
     
  • Demonstrate a willingness to comply with the Mentor-Protégé Program
     
  • Schedule and attend all quarterly developmental meetings
     
  • Meet all deadlines for furnishing information required under the Mentor-Protégé Program
     
  • Demonstrate responsiveness and a willingness to work together and be open to the possibility of creating teaming agreements or joint ventures
     
  • Hold the City of Columbia, including its employees, or agents harmless from any claim, suit action, or demand of creditors, or any other person(s) arising out of this Program
     
  • Document and maintain copies of communications between the Mentor and Protégé
     
  • Complete a Quarterly Report PDF document form for each project included in this program and submit the report to the Department of Utilities & Engineering, Compliance Division, by the 10th day following the end of each quarter 

 

 

I have more questions that are not answered here.

Additional program information can be found in the Mentor-Protégé Program Guidelines PDF document. If you have questions that are not answered by the Mentor-Protégé Program Guidelines PDF document, contact the MPP Compliance Team at 1136 Washington Street, Suite 507, Columbia, SC 29201 or phone (803) 545-4185.

 

 

 

Important Documents
Important Documents

 

 

 

Contact Us
Contact Us

Juliet Nelly
​Compliance Administrator

Department of Utilities and Engineering
Compliance Division
P. O. Box 147
1136 Washington Street, 5th Floor
Columbia, SC 29217
Office: (803) 545-4185
[email protected]

 

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